Can an Employer Force You to Reveal Your Facebook Password?

A state legislative committee approved a bill this week that would bar the practice.


Can an employer force you to reveal your Facebook or other social media password as a condition for getting hired or keeping your job?

That issue began to get some attention in March after a statistician in New York reported that during an interview with a potential employer, the woman interviewing him had searched for his Facebook and, upon discovering that it was private, asked him for the password.

The statistician, Justin Bassett refused and left the interview, according to the Associated Press.

But the story brought to light other instances where employers have sought similar access to social media accounts, and have led several states to consider legislation to ban the practice.

California's assembly voted Thursday to approve such legislation and a committee in the New Jersey general assembly passed a bill with similar wording on Thursday.

According to a study by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Labor Relations Board has reviewed 129 cases involving social media, although many are in the early stages. The issues raised include not just whether an employer can ask for an employee's password, but whether the employer can force the employee to accept a "Like" request, so the employee's social media activities can be monitored; whether the employer used social media to spy on an employee; or whether an employer was justified in firing or disciplining an employee because of something they posted on a social media site.

So what's your take? Does your boss have a legitimate interest in what you say on Facebook?

Katrina May 21, 2012 at 04:21 PM
To those of you unsure as to whether Ridgewood Mom was serious: Yikes. There's a bridge in Brooklyn for sale that might interest you. To Ridgewood Mom: Hysterical post. Thanks for the laugh.
concerned June 20, 2012 at 11:56 AM
Just tell them that you don't have a facebook account.. just change your face book name and remove your profile picture, only tell your close friend & family your secret user name...
Paul Umrichin July 01, 2012 at 02:05 PM
Liar, liar, pants on fire!
Zigah Daniel January 16, 2013 at 06:18 PM
facebook is best
Mikey January 16, 2013 at 06:43 PM
Done! It is common for employers to do a credit check on potential employees.


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